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La Harpe School Board May Meeting

The Board of Education of La Harpe Community School District #347 held a regular meeting May 17, 2016 in the school district library. Board members present included Pres. Cindy Wear, V.P. Bobi James, Dustin Detherage, and Dave Mershon.

The board approved the consent agenda and payment of bills, renewal of Illinois Association of School Boards membership, and the current school year final calendar. The preliminary calendar for the school year 2016- 2017 was approved. Dr. Olson noted that the few calendar days that do not coincide with the Illini West calendar could not be avoided. The high school and elementary districts have different needs.

Mrs. McKeown gave presentations for Carrie Finch, Brenda Sparrow, and Cindy Pollock, and Erin Schatz.

Mrs. Finch provided an animated PowToon video with information about her Pre-K website, many photos of children in the classroom, Gross Motor Parent Night in the Pre-K gym. Mrs. Finch also showed science experiments, student-made cafeteria decorations, the Pre-K mission statement, and the recent Gold Circle of Quality award for our State-funded pre-K program.

Mrs. Sparrow and Mrs. Pollock provided a presentation showing Mystery Leaders, a Thanksgiving Unit, math and reading groups, library time, Fire Safety Day, the morning meeting, and Cooking with Math in the cafeteria. Other activities shown were the Eagle Reading Club, Title I Math, AIMSweb testing, a parent involvement Joke Night activity.

Sparrow and Pollock closed their presentation with the saying "Tell me, I forget. Show me, I will remember. Involve me, I will understand". Mrs. Sparrow provided a fascinating letter to the board reflecting on changes in education from 1985-1986 when she started teaching until present. Sparrow thanked the board for the opportunity to serve students for the past 31 years in the La Harpe area.

Mrs. Schatz's 4th grade presentation included student-made slide shows of social studies, science, and reading. 4th graders also showed scenes from Stunning Spelling, Majestic Math, Fantastic Writing, study habits, and social skills.

Schatz gave information on the classroom use of Google Docs and Google Slides, and a Common Core workshop she attended on writing standards. Schatz explained how she used technology and this writing information with students in her classroom.

Superintendent Report: Dr. Olson provided the board a copy the Departments of Education and Justice "joint guidance" document on how districts should treat transgender students.

8th Grade Promotion ceremony will be held May 27 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Olson noted his vacation days and also the date for the upcoming IASB Western Division meeting.

Dr. Olson along with Lori Bilbrey, Deputy Josh Smith, and Chief Wes Woolsen will participate on a panel of "experts" at the Triple I annual school board conference in Chicago in November.

The newest Alliance Legislative Report concerning the State budget impasse, property tax freeze, and other issues was also provided. Olson mentioned a rally in Springfield May 18 against the Governor and Speaker of the House. Dr. Olson mentioned the need to replace the exterior cafeteria freezer.

Principal Report: Mrs. McKeown reported that four La Harpe students participated in the State track meet.

A WIU student, along with the 3rd grade, planted a tree on the west side of the school as a part of his Arbor Day project.

The Illini West cast of Seussical, the Musical performed a play preview for students.

The monthly school-wide morning meetings were held.

Mrs. Lambert organized an Academic Achievement Open House which was held with 8th grade science projects and 7th grade Rube Goldberg contraptions, artwork, and students performing their music contest selections.

Mrs. Mencel hosted an Indian musician who performed for the 5th- 8th grades.

Students were required to follow formal etiquette while listening to the performance. MAP and AIMSweb testing as well as Common Core Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) were completed.

Kindergarten Orientation, the annual Kindergarten Track Meet, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) parties were held.

McKeown provided a list of the class field trips for the board to view. An Appreciation Luncheon for Paraprofessionals and a District-wide Staff Appreciation Breakfast were enjoyed.

The Teacher Institute focused on developing unit plans for each grade.

The following retirees were honored at a catered dinner on May 18th: Cindy Irish, Don Little, Cindy Pollock, and Brenda Sparrow.

Mrs. McKeown listed her recent professional development, IEP meetings, interviews, student and faculty meetings, Parent/Teacher Advisory meeting, Joint Committee meeting, and PBIS Core Team meeting.

The board briefly discussed the afterschool pick up line, PBIS effectiveness in junior high, and Chromebooks.

School board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month in the school library at 7 p.m.. Agendas and approved minutes are posted at